How Much Sleep Do You Really Need?

woman sleeping
Photo by Ivan Oboleninov on

It’s a familiar refrain: You’re not getting enough sleep. You need to get eight hours of sleep a night, or you’ll never be able to function properly.

But is that really true? Do you need eight hours of sleep a night?

It turns out, there’s no definitive answer. Sleep needs vary from person to person, and there are a lot of factors that can affect how much sleep you need.

Age is one factor. As you get older, you tend to need less sleep. Babies and young children, on the other hand, need a lot of sleep — up to 18 hours a day.

Another factor is activity level. If you’re physically active, you may need more sleep than someone who is sedentary.

stress levels can also affect how much sleep you need. If you’re dealing with a lot of stress, you may find it harder to fall asleep and stay asleep.

There are also medical conditions that can cause sleep problems. If you have trouble sleeping, it’s a good idea to talk to your doctor to rule out any underlying health issues.

So how much sleep do you really need? It depends. But most experts agree that seven to eight hours a night is a good goal.

If you’re not getting enough sleep, there are a few things you can do to try to improve your sleep habits.

First, create a bedtime routine and stick to it. That means going to bed and waking up at the same time every day, even on weekends.

Second, create a relaxing environment in your bedroom. Make sure it’s dark, quiet, and cool.

Third, avoid caffeine and alcohol before bed. Both can make it harder to fall asleep and stay asleep.

Fourth, avoid working or using electronic devices in bed. The light from screens can interfere with sleep.

Finally, get up and move around during the day. Physical activity can help you sleep better at night.

If you’re still having trouble sleeping, talk to your doctor. There are treatments available for sleep problems.

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